Ask Jess: The Ghost ManPosted by Jess - 22/12/10 at 09:12 am
If you think ghosts only come out at Halloween, you may be in for a scary surprise.
Have you ever dated or even been involved for years with a man who one day just disappeared? Quite like a missing persons case, you may have been tempted to inquire with local hospitals and prisons in fear that your man had come to ill demise. Oftentimes, nothing obvious preceded the disappearance. No clues are left behind. No forwarding address. You are left to ask yourself, “was he real or did I imagine the whole thing?”
What you may not have realized is that the problem occurred in his head.
After reading our guest author’s recent post on how she was driven to commit an act of “stalking,” I thought we should address the thing that compelled her to do it: being ghosted.
Being “ghosted” is what we call it when your romantic partner disappears without warning and cuts off all contact with you.
We don’t fully know why a man does this (perhaps we’ll ask Horatio or The Senor). It could be commitment-phobia. It could be mental defect. We suspect the problem is rooted somehow in fear.
We also don’t know too much about how to identify a ghost man before he commits his disappearing act. But we have a few clues. He might have a tendency to avoid unpleasantries (like not answering his phone when he doesn’t feel like dealing with an annoying family member). He might mention girlfriends of the past who were too needy or called him too much. He might have a habit of “turning the world off” when he’s not feeling well. He might be unreachable for short periods of time without explanation.
All we do know is that the problem is usually not about us. It’s impossible not to take it personally when someone flees your life as if you were a house on fire. But sadly, stalking and revenge crimes are illegal in many states. Whereas commitment-phobia is practiced without penalty. My advice? Write out your farewell (seething though it may be!) and then wait a few weeks to send it. If it still feels right, drop it in the mail. And that, even if meager, is your closure.
Final warning? Ghosts tend to disappear and reappear again and again. And that is known as a haunting. Be afraid. Be very afraid.